Written by Kathie Livingston, Owner of Nature Adventures Outfitters
As the summer season winds down, our fall foliage is arriving! Enjoy cooler temperatures in our salt marshes and islands, and beautiful colors in our blackwater swamps. While the winter approaches, alligators go into hibernation and the otters come out to play! It's a perfect time of year to see migrating birds and wildlife in the South Carolina Low Country.
Staff members at Nature Adventures Outfitters met up with some of our regular customers and many others from around the Charleston area on Saturday February 6, 2016 to volunteer our services to help clean up the Francis Marion National Forest. The Francis Marion Forest Cleanup is an annual event that happens around this time every year. As many of you may know, one of our most popular tours is our blackwater nature tour on Wambaw Creek, which is located in the Francis Marion National Forest, so we at Nature Adventures love to do our part to keep the forest clean and pristine.
Our NAO group was tasked with assisting the cleanup of the Twin Ponds Rifle Range. This is an open range for anyone who wants to bring their own targets and ammo to shoot. What we found out was that people use the word “target” very loosely. We picked up an array of different assortments of these “targets,” ranging from old TVs, washing machines, computers, and bowling pins. Interesting as that was, sadly, there were also many other things used that are a cause for concern. For example, we found many old plastic bottles that had been filled with toxic chemicals like motor oil or antifreeze, then shot to bits and abandoned by the shooters. This is worrisome to us, because, such pollutants can very easily be washed into the natural waterways and negatively affect the surrounding area and its inhabitants. We spent all morning with our shovels and rakes, filling up bags upon bags with the trash that others had left behind. Part of our group also scoured the roadway leading up to the Rifle Range and around Steed Creek Road. It was absolutely astounding to see how much trash had accumulated over such a small area in only one year. In only a very short stretch of road, about one mile or so, we collected enough trash to nearly fill up the back of a pickup truck. On the bright side, as we were packing up to return to the Steed creek Forest Headquarters, we were lucky enough to look up and spot a red-cockaded woodpecker perched on a longleaf pine tree; this served as an instant reminder and gratification for why we were there, for this particular bird and tree are two examples of some of the many vulnerable and endangered species that live within the National Forest.
To see more of Jay’s insights, you can visit his blog here.
Kathie Livingston was recognized by the SC Aquarium as the "Giving Tuesday" recipeint for her dedication in giving back to the environment.
Known locally as the “woods woman” or the “kayak lady,” Kathie shares her passion with the world every day. As the owner of Nature Adventures kayak, Canoe and paddleboard Outfitters in Mt. Pleasant, she connects people with the natural world through kayak trips and hikes that showcase the wonder of South Carolina. Aquarium members enjoy special kayak trips organized by NAO, in which 50% of proceeds are generously donated to the Aquarium.
“It’s been about giving back to the environment and doing what I can do to make a difference, especially for wildlife. I’ve long believed that one of the best ways to get people to care about the environment is to get them into it to see why it’s important.” -Kathie Livingston
Not surprisingly, Kathie was also elected to the Executive Committee of the SC Sierra Club.
With Nature Adventures' mission of "giving back to the environment", the SC Aquarium asked us to partner with them to promote their conservation efforts. In doing so we've created a wonderful variety of adventures you can participate in.
In partnership with the Aquarium, NAO will donate 50% of our revenues when you join us for any number of weekend activities and overnight expeditions.
Nature Adventures is the chosen outfitter by the National Sierra Club to lead their Outings in South Carolina. We were given this honor in 2012, and it's something we've worked hard to maintain!
Nature Adventure Outfitters' owner, Kathie Livingston recently received the honor of VIP Woman of the Year from the National Association of Professional Women for Outstanding Excellence and Dedication to her Profession and the Achievement of Women.
Standing on the top deck of Red’s Icehouse on Shem Creek — Mount Pleasant’s party central — one cannot appreciate the diversity of wildlife found in this seafood-rich coastal environment.
No, I’m not talking about the crowds of visitors enjoying frosty mugs of beer and steamed oysters on the festive waterfront. I mean real wildlife like dolphins, manatees, sea turtles, otters and shore birds.
The South Carolina Nature-Based Tourism Association (SCNBTA) awarded Nature Adventure Outfitters with it's "Gold Level" recognition. SCNBTA works to bring together local nature-based Tourism business owners with resource managers and community leaders. They also work to provide continuing education that promotes the exchange of information among members as it relates to the conservation of natural and cultural resources for long-term economic benefit.